Aussie Company Redflow Brings A New Home Energy Battery To The Market

Though the technology was popularised by US company Tesla Energy's Powerwall, innovation in battery storage has often been made by Australian companies, as many remote areas of the country are dependent on off-grid technologies. Aussie company Redflow is no different, announcing their new ZCell battery -- an energy storage system that presents an alternative to traditional lead acid and lithium ion batteries.

The ZCell stores 10kWh of energy for a daily cycle and is aimed at the home consumer, with the ability to be retrofitted to existing systems or potentially installed as a package -- though the latter will depend on installers rather than Redflow themselves. The enclosure is outdoor-rated and designed to sit on the ground rather than being wall-mounted.

Inside, the system is built around a zinc-bromine flow battery, with the unique technology allowing a number of advantages over traditional systems. For one, the ZCell is designed to be able to completely discharge and recharge its entire 10kWh without any damage to the battery, coming with a full 10-year warranty under these conditions. "ZCell is warranted to deliver its full 10 kWh of stored energy each day for as long as 10 years," explains Redflow Executive Chairman Simon Hackett. "During that period, lead acid and lithium batteries can lose a significant portion of their storage capacity."

ZCell's electrolyte is also a fire retardant, greatly lowering the fire risk of the battery system. It is designed to work at an ambient outside temperature of up to 45C without any additional cooling system, which can be essential in remote areas of Australia.

Aside from the obvious way battery storage allows you to use your energy sustainably, Redflow has further ensured its materials are able to be reused and repurposed in the interest of sustainability. "ZCell is primarily made of plastic, aluminium and steel, elements that are easily recycled, while its fluid electrolyte can be reused or repurposed," says Hackett.

Unlike the Powerwall, the ZCell comes bundled with its own monitoring software -- the ZCell Battery Management System, which features a smartphone-compatible Wi-Fi interface.

Redflow estimates the fully installed cost of a 10kWh ZCell system to be $17,500-$19,500 including GST, with an introductory discount of $1000 for Redflow shareholders. The ZCell is estimated to start installations mid year, though you can reserve a battery on the official ZCell site now.


    How many charging cycles have these batteries got because Tesla deleted their 10 kWh power wall battery because the recharge cycle was too low. And $19,000, tell them they're dreaming.

      @RedflowLimited says 'the battery has an expected energy throughput of 40MWh Warranted is 30MWh. Expect 4,000 100% full cycles.'

        So that's about 11 years before you have to think about getting a new one. That works out to be close to two thousand a year. Me thinks the electricity from the powerstation is a better deal.

          Here's the thing, it's something that could last for 50 years and still function to quite a high level of capacity. It's also serviceable, with the major parts needing to be replaced being the two plates/terminals, which are essentially electroplated (to store energy) and then have that removed (the process which releases energy from the battery).

          Also the fact that it's not prone to overheating and bursting into flames like lithium ion is a bonus.

    Price needs to drop at least 10k for market viability.
    Would need to be spending over 2500$ a year on electrons to justify present price.

      You're assuming that the one and only reason to do this is to save money but maybe your grandchildren will thank you for doing as much as you possibly could to reduce your carbon emissions?

      Seems designed for remote off grid residences. Running a generator from 6pm to 10pm nightly would cost more than $2,500 a year.

      and you think $2500 a year on electricity bills is unusual? I think it might be more common than you think, I used to do over $700/quarter. I've manged to get that down a bit now but I'm still spending about $2000 a year on power.

      if I could put together a solar and battery package that was able to pay for itself over 10 years i'd be pretty happy, and this gets that a lot closer.

    Get one of these or 3 Tesla batteries

      This is the cost of a fully installed system, not just of the battery. I think it will be reasonably competitive with Tesla but still several times more expensive than a lead-acid set-up.

    The 17k price might upset some, looking at apples for apples Zcell wins against Tesla even with 5+kWh solar system

    I hate how these companies do not list prices on their site >:(

    Its not like when the first handful of customers get their hands on their invoice, the prices wont be spread far and wide anyway :|

    I'd really like to know the base cost price without the added cost of installation.

      I don't know that you're actually able to order it without having it installed. It's not the kind of thing you can just hook up yourself, even if you're a sparky.

    Does that price include Energy Rebate/Credits? They need to show the fully installed price vs a fully installed price for a Tesla PowerWall and other competitors.

    Am I the only one who thinks 'Redflow' is a really awful name for a company?

      It never occurred to me there was something wrong with that name...until you mentioned it. Thanks.


    The ZBM battery has been around for a while, but since Tesla have raised interest, it's now an expensive home product for 'early adopters'. Unless there is 10kWh/day spare solar to charge the battery, and then 10kWh/day use to discharge it, the $/kWh storage cost will be very high.
    The ZBM had power output limits, and 68% efficiency, I recall. I can't find those specifications on the website.

      $0.50 per kWh best case scenario, more like $1.00-$1.50 per kWh in most parts of Australia, even with a 4kW solar array and closely managed usage (by my very rough estimates). Perhaps it becomes cost-effective when compared to Diesel generation... but even Tesla Powerwall is significantly cheaper than these (and may have a longer lifespan).
      My electricity is currently under 17c per kWh, 24/7. So...

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